GlaxoSmithKline is looking to make further acquisitions this year but any mega-merger is looking highly unlikely, according to chief executive Andrew Witty.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Healthcare CEOs Unscripted conference in New York, Mr Witty stressed that the firm will focus more on emerging markets and GSK’s consumer healthcare businesses. He said that “where we see opportunities we will take them. I certainly see us adding on a number of businesses this year – bolt-on type businesses”.

He went on to say that "I don't particularly believe that big M&A is going to be a great solution to anything in the next few years," When asked if there were many assets out there that will add value, he acknowledged that in terms of vaccines, “there is not a lot out there” but he said that the vaccines business is still a very good one. “There are very few companies with a global footprint” in vaccines, he said, and GSK’s pipeline in this area stands the firm in good stead.

Mr Witty also went on to say that there are opportunities in emerging markets and consumer but it is important to note that companies which are available are not necessarily going to be “distressed assets” so any deal has to be at the right price. He added that “one thing we are not doing is rushing around buying businesses we know very little about”.

As for delivering new products, Mr Witty said that GSK's new Discovery Performance Units are making the process much more dynamic. He added that new products are going to yield less than they did in the past so a company has to produce more drugs as “there is a tremendous demand” for new medicines. Having most of the value of the company tied to one or two blockbusters is no longer a feasible option, he added.